Yes, as many have pointed out, there was no physical contact; at least no evidence of such has surfaced. However, this doesn't excuse Foley of his actions. Neither does his sudden rush to a rehab or his admission of "abuse" by a "clergyman" after the fact.
Secondly, the fact that Mark Foley is a member of the Republican Party, a party known for their predisposition to gay bash, the fact that it was hushed up instead of handled properly absolutely infuriates.
While it's no secret the Republicans in congress are hypocrites, for them to silently acquiesce to passive pedophilia disgusts me to no end.
As a gay man, I have felt the sting of persecution and prosecution for simply being "different". I put "different" in quotes because like all the other divide and conquer tactics employed by so many today (not just Republicans) my actual differences are minor. While my sexuality does predispose me to certain thought processes and points of view, it doesn't affect my ability to know right from wrong, or do a job for which I am qualified.
I have heard it said that if everyone who had ever had a homosexual experience or harbors homosexual tendencies were suddenly to change color for one day, say to purple, institutionalized and church sponsored gay bashing would cease almost immediately. If one is to take the Kinsey scale as true (and there is no reason not to do so), only one in six people would retain their natural skin color. That would mean there would be a lot of Purple Monkeys walking around.
I saw an experiment where a group of men was separated into two different groups according to their responses to a questionnaire that measured homophobic tendencies. Once they answered the questions, they were attached to machines that measured sexual response by means of a strain gauge attached to their penis. They were shown homoerotic images, and their erectile response was measured. In every case, the men who showed homophobic tendencies also showed erectile response to the images shown, in some cases experiencing complete erection. Those men who showed no homophobic tendencies showed no erectile response to the images.
While I forget the actual show, this experiment was done as a part of a documentary concerning itself with societal gay bashing and bias against transgendered peoples. It was a rather small study (less than one hundred men as I recall), but the results speak for themselves. I think it would be very interesting indeed if this study were done on a larger scale and under more controlled scientific conditions. How many Purple Monkeys would show up? If Kinsey is right, at least five out of six. If other studies are correct, nine out of ten.
While society may be slowly evolving to a state where homophobia is less prevalent, we still have a long way to go. The only way to speed up the process is for everyone who is gay to come out of the closet. That involves great personal risk, and many are unwilling to take that risk for fear of reprisal. I guess I am in a unique position because I have felt reprisal for my sexuality for so long, it doesn't bother me anymore.
It also takes a bravery of another kind. It requires that we who are gay no longer support institutions or organizations that gay bash in any fashion. That is the reason I do not support the Republican Party, even though, truth be told, I am more conservative than I am liberal. I will not be a part of the Log Cabin wing of the Republican Party. To me, they are part of the problem, not the solution.
It also follows that I have no interest in being Christian. While Jesus Christ never openly offered an opinion one way or another on the issue of homosexuality; something that obviously existed during his time on this planet, those who claim to be doing His work seem to think they know better. I cannot and will not put myself in a state of silent duplicity by being a part of any system of faith that tells me I am wrong and condemned for something over which I have no control.
Now, with all that said, I need to say the issue that bothers me most about what has now been dubbed "Foleygate" is not whether Foley is gay (as if there is any question at this point). It is the fact that he engaged in passive pedophilia while making a show of being a moral spearhead on the issue. That is the worst kind of hypocrisy.
On one hand, he is the guy who is the champion of legislation to protect children from exploitation via the internet. On the other, his one-handed typing is doing exactly that which his legislation is supposed to stop. If this isn't a clear case of complete hypocrisy, then I ask what is it? If it isn't a case of the fox guarding the rooster-house, then what is it?